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Old 05-25-2015, 02:54 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 28Z
State: California
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THOR #1798
2013 Thor Four Winds Modifications

I'm going to start a thread on the modifications I make to my 2013 Thor Four Winds. I previously upgraded my stock radio from a Jensen to a Pioneer AVIC 6100NEX with navigation/Bluetooth with new Kicker speakers. The thread is below:

http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f27...0nex-1498.html

Here is picture of the finished product.


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Old 05-25-2015, 03:15 PM   #2
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THOR #1798
Hellwig E450 Super Duty Front Anti-Sway Bars

This weekend I upgraded the front sway bars. I removed the stock Ford OEM ones and upgraded them with E450 Super Duty Anti-Sway Bars by Hellwig. I ordered them from Amazon. Here is the link:

Hellwig 7718 Front Sway Bar

The front sway bars are pretty easy to remove. There are some good YouTube videos that walk you through it. Here is a good one:
RV Suspension Upgrade Part 1 - How to install Hellwig anti sway bars | rvwithtito

Here is a picture of the OEM sway bar:



A couple of notes. The front bolt on the OEM bracket is on SUPER tight. It took a lot of effort and some lubricating oil. On my coach the front bolt on the bracket was 18 mm and the rear bolt was 15 mm. All other bolts were 18 mm. For the swing arm, an 18 mm wrench works better. I used deep sockets for everything. It took about an hour to remove the old one. Thirty minutes of that was fighting with the front bracket bolt. The install of the new one took about 30 minutes. I did all the work with the coach on the ground.

Here is a side-by-side of the OEM and the Hellwig:


And here is the new one installed:


After test driving it all I can say is what a difference. The steering is greatly improved and the on road feel is much more stable. It was like driving a whole new RV. I also ordered the rear sway bar. I'll install that next.
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:28 PM   #3
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THOR #531
I recently upgraded my E450 to Hellwig Sway Bars, and it had a similar effect on my rig as well.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:25 PM   #4
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THOR #1798
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
I recently upgraded my E450 to Hellwig Sway Bars, and it had a similar effect on my rig as well.
Your posts on the the Safe-T thread convinced me to start with the sway bars. Thanks FW28z. My driving stress level went way down.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:18 AM   #5
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THOR #1798
Rear View Safety Wireless Backup Camera

I needed a backup camera for the coach. I don't know why it wasn't on by default. After reading reviews and watching install videos I decided to try a wireless backup camera from Rear View Safety. This turned out to be fairly easy modification. I was originally going to place the camera right below the center marker light above the rear window, but I stopped myself right before I drilled a new hole. It turned out the hole for the light was already the same size that I needed for the camera. The grommet fit perfectly. I think there's enough marker lights up there and not having the center one is not a big deal. I used the power for the light to power the camera. To turn the camera on I just turn on the parking lights.

Here is the link for the backup camera I bought:

Wireless Quad Camera System with Cigarette Lighter Adaptor

Here is what it looks like instaledl:




It comes with a suction cup mount. For now I just put it in front of the rear view mirror. I'm probably going to get a new mount and put in on the center console somewhere. Now when I backup I can see what I hit!



The camera picture is very high quality. This version can be outfitted with up to 4 wireless cameras. I haven't tried it at night but it's suppose to work well in low light.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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THOR #1620
Nice job and upgrades! the sway bar should make a big difference.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:39 PM   #7
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THOR #1414
Thanks for the Hellwig sway bar tip! I spoke with the folks at Hellwig and they suggested the rear sway bar first... so I'm adding that one. You can see in the pic that it's similar to the front one and quite a bit beefier and heavier than the stock one...
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubravsky View Post
Thanks for the Hellwig sway bar tip! I spoke with the folks at Hellwig and they suggested the rear sway bar first... so I'm adding that one. You can see in the pic that it's similar to the front one and quite a bit beefier and heavier than the stock one...
The rear one is next. Hopefully this weekend. I ordered them both. I did the front first primarily to get rid of some of the steering wheel wobble. Hopefully the back is just as easy as the front.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:32 PM   #9
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Back should be easier!
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:33 PM   #10
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The rear one was indeed pretty easy. I drove the rig yesterday and definitely noticed a difference! I'm ordering the fron to one today
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:29 AM   #11
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THOR #1778
Sway Bar

Just installed front sway bar last evening. Less than an hour. Thanks for all the info on wrench sizes, etc. I will test drive it on Sunday when I take it to the car wash. Trip from Texas to Colorado on Tuesday. First long haul in FW22e.
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:06 PM   #12
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Finished the front sway bar last night. Those 18mm bolts were a bear! Looking forward to a test drive today.....
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:01 PM   #13
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THOR #1907
What year's are your 28Z's? The reason I ask is when I go to Hellwig's website, they do not list a front for my 2015 E450, just the rear.
Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JRS950 View Post
What year's are your 28Z's? The reason I ask is when I go to Hellwig's website, they do not list a front for my 2015 E450, just the rear.
Thanks for the help.
Jim,

Do a VIN search and verify that your chassis is a 2015. Often times the chassis is actually one year older than the coach model. For example my 2015 Challenger actually rides on a 2014 F53 chassis.

Here is the link for the Ford Truck Enthusiast's VIN Decoder; maybe that will help.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/vindecoder.php
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:52 PM   #15
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Dave, thanks for the advice. My coach is one of the "rare" ones out there where the coach and the chasssi match year wise. My vin is for a 15, while the coach is also listed as a 15. I'm running into many supplier's that t do not list the 2015 E450, but have listings for the 2104. I even called Air-Lift and they would not say for sure that the 2 years were the same and parts would work. They are looking into it. Knowing Ford as I do, I suspect that there are subtle differences between the two years. Twenty years as a supplier. I will keep searching.
Thanks again for the thoughts.

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Old 06-14-2015, 12:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRS950 View Post
Dave, thanks for the advice. My coach is one of the "rare" ones out there where the coach and the chasssi match year wise. My vin is for a 15, while the coach is also listed as a 15. I'm running into many supplier's that t do not list the 2015 E450, but have listings for the 2104. I even called Air-Lift and they would not say for sure that the 2 years were the same and parts would work. They are looking into it. Knowing Ford as I do, I suspect that there are subtle differences between the two years. Twenty years as a supplier. I will keep searching.
Thanks again for the thoughts.

I read somewhere recently that Ford was discontinuing the E series and moving to the Transit Vans. The E series was only going to be produced for the RV and specialty vehicle markets as the stripped and cutaway chassis. I can't remember when that change was supposed to take effect but that may be what you are facing.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:06 AM   #17
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THOR #1907
2015 as verified by the website. Loads of great info. Kind of fun looking at it.
Thor has my wheelbase as 21" while the factory lists my coach as 176". A 36" stretch. Cool. Stretched by trucks before, never a van.
Thanks again Dave. So much information here.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:08 AM   #18
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As far as vans go, I believe that change has already taken place. No more Econoline vans., just the Transit.
It had a long run.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrgutierr View Post
I needed a backup camera for the coach. I don't know why it wasn't on by default. After reading reviews and watching install videos I decided to try a wireless backup camera from Rear View Safety. This turned out to be fairly easy modification. I was originally going to place the camera right below the center marker light above the rear window, but I stopped myself right before I drilled a new hole. It turned out the hole for the light was already the same size that I needed for the camera. The grommet fit perfectly. I think there's enough marker lights up there and not having the center one is not a big deal. I used the power for the light to power the camera. To turn the camera on I just turn on the parking lights.

Here is the link for the backup camera I bought:

Wireless Quad Camera System with Cigarette Lighter Adaptor

Here is what it looks like instaledl:




It comes with a suction cup mount. For now I just put it in front of the rear view mirror. I'm probably going to get a new mount and put in on the center console somewhere. Now when I backup I can see what I hit!



The camera picture is very high quality. This version can be outfitted with up to 4 wireless cameras. I haven't tried it at night but it's suppose to work well in low light.

For the most part you should be okay removingthe center marker light, but if you run into a hard line DOT or State Trooper, you could have some potential issues. Since our coaches are so wide, the marker lights become more important. Be cautious is all I can say.
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:31 AM   #20
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Jim,

I wasn't sure about mine either as it's a 2015 RV but I think a 2014 E450. I called Hellwig and asked for a part number... they were super nice and helpful. It was part 7718 .....
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